Chenna poda is a Oriya dish made with paneer (white cheese). Fresh paneer is mixed with sugar and kneaded into very soft dough. This paneer is then baked till its golden brown outside and thoroughly cooked inside. Here is a home version of the famous Orissa chenna poda made with small quantity of paneer.
Makes: Two 5 X 1 Paneer Cakes.
Home Made Paneer (white cheese) 2 Cups
Sooji 1 tbsp
Sugar 1 1/4 Cups
Salt a small pinch
Ghee 1/2 tsp
Bruise the cardamom and remove the seeds.
Thoroughly grind the seeds into fine powder and keep aside.
In a mixing bowl, add fresh paneer and mash it thoroughly with help of a spatula.
Add sooji, sugar, salt and cardamom powder to the paneer and knead the mixture into very soft dough.
Divide the dough into two portions.
Take two of around 5 – 6 inch wide and inch height oven safe dishes or ramekins.
Grease the ramekins with little ghee.
Sprinkle quarter tsp of sugar on both the ramekins.
Put the ramekins in microwave for few seconds until the sugar melts and caramelizes a little.
Rotate the ramekin to let the caramelized sugar stick to the sides of the dish as well.
Take each portion of the paneer dough and place it in the ramekin.
Carefully press the paneer into the ramekin with help of fingers and level it.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Bake for half an hour and reduce the heat to 300 F and bake for 10 – 15 more minutes.
Test the cake by inserting a toothpick into the cake.
If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.
Let the cake cool off inside the oven if necessary before removing.
Cool the cake to room temperature and turn the ramekin upside down to remove the paneer cake onto a plate.
Serve paneer cake immediately or you can refrigerate it for upto a week.
Notes: Use a pound cake tin or cake tin to bake a bigger cake, which takes more time to bake.
Suggestions: Taste the paneer mixture and adjust the sugar according to your preference. Make sure to test the cake very often during the last stage to prevent it from burning.
Variations: Also add cashews and raisins to the paneer before baking. A quarter tsp of baking powder can also be added for better results.
Other Names: Cheese Cake, Paneer Cake, Chenna Poda Peetha.